Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tack and hammer board

I've had a tack and hammer board put away for awhile now but wasn't sure if Bubble was a bit little for it. We took it out yesterday though and off she went, covering the cork board on both sides with all the colourful shapes.
For now she is happy to just put her shapes all over the board wherever she likes, but once she has that mastered we will move on to making pictures from them, and some tangram type activities.

Playdough Doughnuts

The girls and I made a doughnut shop today; we made little round playdough 'cakes' and then used the end of an empty paper towel roll to make holes in the centre. It was lots of fun making, 'eating' and remaking them and adding beads and contrasting dough to make sprinkles and cherries. Bon app├ętit! :-)

Whole Orange Cake recipe

We had a surplus of oranges recently so I went searching the net for nice looking recipes to use them up. I came across this one on Best Recipe for a whole orange cake, and it looked so easy we gave it a go. Not only was it easy it was also delicious and the girls loved it, we ended up making three and freezing them for our morning tea times. It was an especially great recipe for cooking with the kids because there weren't many ingredients at all. This is also where I shamefully admit that I dont even own a food processor, but we used a blender and it still worked out great!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wooden block play - colour patterns

Bubble learnt all of her colours quite awhile ago so I thought we would have a go at some patterning games. I wanted to start off with something basic and see how she went, so decided to use some of her favourite toys - blocks!

* paper or mat
* coloured objects (about 5-10 of each colour you want to use)

We made a game of grouping the blocks into their colour groups, then I laid some paper on the floor so Bubble could see clearly what I was doing. I slowly made a pattern with the blocks, starting with two colours only. As I went I said the colours out loud (yellow, and then red, yellow, and then red...) so that she could see and hear the pattern. We did this a few times over with different colours, and then I started to ask her what came next and letting her select and place the next block. Bubble enjoyed this game and we got as far as three colour patterns before she lost interest.
Other ideas: you dont have to use blocks, you could use a whole heap of small toys or objects you find around the house, or beads, bottle lids, counters even different types of dried beans. Try patterning with different things, like shapes or textures.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Colour object sorting

This colour sorting game was easy to set up and something Bubble enjoyed a lot - we played it many times throughout today! I used the coloured lids from Tupperware containers, but you could easily use coloured paper, coloured scarves or fabric scraps, sheets of felt or coloured plates. It took a few minutes to collect a number of small objects from around the house in each colour and Bubble was off sorting.


*coloured lids
* small coloured objects (7 of each colour)
* large bowl

Leaf matching

We had some scrap cardboard left over from a box we had used last week, so I cut a tree shape from it for us to use in a leaf sorting game. At the park we collected two of each interesting leaf we coud find (from the ground where we could, and cut properly from the tree where we couldn't). One set of leaves I glued to cardboard and laminated, the other set I put in a large bowl and Bubble later attached them to the tree using Blutac. Once our tree was ready we used the laminated leaf cards and matched them to the ones on the tree. Bubble had to study both sets of leaves very closely because the differences in colour and shape between some of them was very subtle. We have kept our laminated leaves and take them to the park with us now to match them to the trees they came from.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sparkle Bottles.

I have seen this done quite a few times and have been wanting to make one with Bubble for two reasons; I thought she would probably enjoy creating it and I knew Squeak would love playing with the end result!

* empty clear plastic bottle with lid (soft drink bottle, water bottle etc...)
* water
* shiny objects to put inside your bottle (glitter, sequins, beads etc...)
* strong tape or super glue
* plastic funnel small enough to fit your bottle

Remove any labels from your bottle so you will be able to see all the sparkly things floating inside once it's done. Make putting your objects into the bottle fun by using tongs, tweezers, chopsticks - anything you can think of :-) Use the funnel for glitter and any other fiddly bits that might be hard for your child to get into the bottle on their own. Once it is filled with sparkly things and water secure the lid with either strong glue or tape (or both!).
Other ideas: you could try colouring the water with food colouring, or making bottles with different themes, like 'the beach' using sand and small shells, or even seaweed. Add a small amount of oil on top of the water and show your child what happens when you shake it. You could also make different colour themed bottles or use them to play bowling games. My girls also enjoyed playing with it in the bath!

This metallic ribbon is from a set of pompoms that are in our dress up box. They fall out all over the house so Im glad to find a use for all the stray strands!

Beads look and sound nice rolling around inside the bottle.

In go the beads.

And the glitter!

Bubble rolled her bottle back and forth watching the swirling sparkly colours :-)

We decided to add some foam shapes to our bottle to make it even more interesting.

Squeak was quite taken with it too! :-)

Telling Time

Bubble has recently become interested in telling the time, so I wanted to do an activity with her that was both simple and hands on. She really enjoyed using this paper plate clock face and it was amazing how quickly she picked up how it all worked.


* paper plate
* marker or texta
* coloured cardboard (we used old Christmas cards)
* Blu-tac
* paper
* scissors
* glue

I wrote numbers around the outside of the plate to make the clock face, and then cut a big hand and a short hand from coloured cardboard. The big hand was glued to the plate in the o'clock position and the short hand was affixed using blu-tac so it was easily moveable. I cut small squares of paper and wrote times on them, then laid them face down on the table. One by one we turned them over so that Bubble could match the time on the paper with the clock face by adjusting the hands.

Bubble's 6 o'clock.

Adjusting the hands to 12 o'clock.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Block books

I actually saw this idea on another Blog, but unfortunately I wrote down the idea and cant remember where exactly I saw it. If anyone knows, please link up with my post! I think it is brilliant and so far both girls have been enjoying their new books. Basically you use letter blocks to spell out simple words, take a photo and create books by putting the photos into mini albums. I love this idea because you can use objects that are familiar to your kids and customise it easily. When we read our 'minibooks' I give Bubble the box of letter blocks and she recreates the word using the photos as a guide.


* objects with simple names
* letter blocks
* a camera
* mini photo albums

Months of the year

Bubble recently learnt a new song that lists the months of the year, but she was having trouble with the pronounciation of some of the longer trickier names (September is a bit of a mouthful!). To help her with visualisation and promting we cut the names of the month from an old calendar and Bubble stuck them up with blutac onto her wardrobe door. Now when we sing the song she can point to each name and although she cant read yet she is learning to recognise the words by sight, and pointing gives her a visual cue while she tries to remember the song. Even Squeak joins in now, her vocabulary now includes "Semember" and "Ceecember" along with "hi" and "ball" :-D